Greetings from Sarah Sundin
in California! What a joy for me to interview Kathy Collard Miller, author of
fifty books. When I first started writing in 2000, my mother bragged at the
bowling alley about her daughter working on a novel. Kathy “happened” to be on
the other team. This sweet woman gave my mother her phone number—and answered
dozens of my newbie questions. She was my first contact with the writing
community, and I will always be grateful for her generosity and encouragement.
I’d always had the heart of a
writer—trying to write a novel in junior high; being the high school newspaper
editor—but I didn’t know what being a writer actually meant. I just knew I
loved writing and being at my desk. It wasn’t until I took an adult education
class on writing when I was 26 years old that I learned about a query letter
(in 1977). Because God had just delivered me from being a child abuser at that
time (I’d been a Christian for seven years), I thought I should see if anyone
would want to print that story. I subscribed to Moody Monthly magazine
and sent them a query letter about my idea. They replied they’d like to see the
article and they ended up accepting it. It was published in 1978. Then I went
to my first writers conference in 1980 at Forest Home in So. CA, and God
birthed the desire to write a book about my story. It took several years for
that book to be published in 1985.
Just a few weeks ago, my 50th
book was accepted. For the past six years, I haven’t had a new book because God
called me to a ministry sabbatical for four of those years, so it’s been hard
to get a publisher interested currently. But Praise the Lord, He has opened
this new door and I’m very excited.
In 2005, my book Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries was published by
Bethany House. Within a month of its release, God called me to that sabbatical.
It sure didn’t make sense to me what He was doing because that book quickly
died without any marketing help.
But God rebirths books too!
Just a few days ago (October 31st), Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries
was re-released by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and I’m learning how
to market it. It is a non-fiction book aimed at helping readers, specifically
women, learn to diminish worry by trusting God more.
did you get your first book contract?
When I first went to the
writers conference in 1980, I wanted to tell parents how to deal with their
anger. An editor told me it might be better to just tell my story. That didn’t
make sense to me. How could anyone gain help from that? But over those 3-4
years of rewriting and trying to find a publisher, I finally succumbed to the
idea of writing my story. I finally received an acceptance from a major
publisher and decided to pay for help going over the contract. At the
appointment with the agent, he asked, “Did you send your manuscript to Word
Publishers?” Shocked, I said, “No….” I was flummoxed as to what was going on.
He excused himself, went to his desk, placed a call to Word and talked to an
editor there. He came back to me and said, “They want to see your manuscript.”
I sent it and was offered a contract. It was published by Word Books in 1985.
has helped you promote your books the most?
Through the years of my
writing ministry, my publishers have done all the marketing planning, which of
course is very unusual now. I would just cooperate with their opportunities and
would try to get excerpts of my books published as articles. Today, marketing
life is totally different and I’m learning about book launches, social media
marketing, and “getting the word out.”
the funniest thing that happened during a promotional activity?
After my second book was
published (which was the “self-help” book for parents wanting to control their
anger), I was doing a radio interview and of course, had told how I was an
abusive mother. A man called in and said, “You shouldn’t be telling anyone how
to parent anyone until your abused child becomes a functioning member of
society.” My daughter, whom I’d abused, was about 6 years old at that time. The
radio talk show host handled the call nicely and I didn’t have to respond,
which I would have been glad to. I’d like now to talk to that man and ask, “Now
that she is 38 years old and a wonderful wife, mother, and
former-secret-service agent who protected the President, can I share my story?”
you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
When my first book came out,
I’d never been on a TV program or been interviewed on a radio program. My first
TV appearance was on The 700 Club. I
was shocked that God gave me that opportunity. But I was also terrified. I
literally couldn’t think as the interview went along. I can honestly say that
my mouth opening and answering questions was God’s total control by the Holy
Spirit. In my mind, I was thinking, “I can’t believe my mouth is talking.”
Since then, I’ve always had confidence that God empowers for whatever doors He
opens. (I still get butterflies in my stomach, though).
Now that you have been writing a while,
what do you find works best for you in promoting your work and why?
I expect that my blog tour
will gain the most marketing for Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries. I
am very grateful that 40 bloggers have agreed to feature my book. If any CAN
members would like to feature my new book in any way, I’d appreciate it. It’s
never too late.
are your top tips for writers with their first book contract?
Get professional advice. It’s
worth the money and you might get invited to submit your manuscript to Word
Thank you for sharing with
Writing for Him,